Angry Bradford City joint-boss slams referee after last-gasp loss

JOINT BRADFORD CITY manager Mark Trueman was left to vent his spleen in the direction of referee Will Finnie who he felt spoiled his side’s League Two game at Newport.

Mark Trueman (right) and Conor Sellars (left). Picture: Simon Hulme.

City suffered just their second defeat in the era of Trueman and Conor Sellars after a cruel late loss to the Exiles, who triumphed at the death through a penalty in the sixth-minute in stoppage time from former Bantams player Matt Dolan, who struck with the last kick of the game in a bitter 2-1 reverse for the visitors.

Trueman had no issue with the spot-kick, awarded after a handball against Levi Sutton, but was not happy with the free-kick award for Dolan’s 77th-minute leveller - after Andy Cook was penalised for a foul on Josh Sheehan - or a number of other decisions on the night.

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Co-manager Trueman expressed his feelings to Bedfordshire official Finnie at the final whistle.

Trueman commented: “I just did not think he was good enough, simple as that.

“I think he was the same referee at Forest Green, who sent Paudie (O’Connor) off and he was not good enough.

“It was whoever shouted the loudest got a free-kick...It was a frustrating one as it was a good game and it was disappointing that the referee was not strong enough on the night.

“I think it was a penalty and I am not disagreeing with that one. But the free-kick was quite soft and I think he was looking at a chance to even it up and was quick to blow the whistle.

“The game should have flown better and the referee was stopping it a lot and that is why I wanted to speak to him after.”

It was a night which checked City’s play-off momentum as they suffered just their second reverse in 16 matches after taking the lead through Cook just after the break and looking on course for their sixth away success in seven outings.

Trueman, whose collective efforts with Sellars have seen them short-listed for the League Two manager of the month award for February, said: “We are obviously disappointed and it was a tough one to take from two set-plays.

“That was the difference, really. In the first half, I thought both teams were sussing each other out and nullifying each other. But in the second half, we came out the better team, moved the ball well and got the goal and I thought we looked comfortable.

“But when they changed shape slightly, it disjointed us and they are a good team who are fluid in their movement.

“Dolan is a centre-half and then he was in the box..They are a good team who caused us problems.”